Somebodyisfromhere.com doesn’t mean to bore, but he’s going to drop a little history on you. He did this once before and the world didn’t shatter. He does find occasional history bombs are a bit more palpable if they are badass. Case in point: Defiance, Ohio.
Defiance got its name from General Anthony Wayne during the French and Indian War.
Somebodyisfromhere.com spent his morning researching General Wayne. He’s a pretty fascinating guy. There are towns all over the rust belt named after him because of his heroics.
He eventually moved to Georgia. That state gave him some land in appreciation for his help in the war(s). He represented them in Washington with the 2nd US Congress.
But more badass.
Wayne adopted a military career at the outset of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and fiery personality quickly earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general and the sobriquet of Mad Anthony.
My god. How awesome is the nickname Mad Anthony? Could have done without the word sobriquet, though.
That’s not it. Some nerdy trivia:
Contrary to the popular belief that Bruce Wayne (the real name of the superhero character Batman) was not named after John Wayne, comic book writer Bill Finger named Batman’s alter ego after Robert the Bruce and Anthony Wayne. In the DC Comics, Bruce Wayne is depicted as General Wayne’s direct descendant. Furthermore, the property on which Wayne Manor is built was given to General Wayne for his service during the Revolution.
Somebodyisfromhere.com was familiar with General Wayne for other reasons. He still remembers watching an Unsolved Mysteries episode about a place named after Wayne back when the show was the end all be all. It was slightly scarier for Somebodysifromhere.com than most of the material on the show because it was fairly close to where he grew up.
The General Wayne Inn located at 625 Montgomery AveMerion, Pennsylvania is a tavern on the National Register of Historic Places. Established in 1704, it was previously named the William Penn Inn, Wayside Inn, Tunis Ordinary, and Streepers Tavern before being renamed in 1793 honor of General “Mad” Anthony Wayne who had once stayed there. There is a legend that the building is haunted by numerous ghosts, including a handful of Hessian soldiers. Edgar Allan Poe was a frequent visitor of the inn and carved his initials in one of the window sills in 1843...
So that was kind of the Unsolved Mysteries aspect of the restaurant. Certainly, bad enough in its own right. Tragically, it got worse after the show.
Jim Webb, one of the more recent owners of the inn, was found murdered there in his office in 1996, a year after having purchased the business. His murderer turned out to be his business partner Guy Sileo, who killed him for life insurance money and to prevent him from shutting down the inn and ending their partnership. Sileo ended up convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison. Felicia Moyse, a 20-year-old assistant chef at the inn (and witness in the Jim Webb murder), committed suicide on February 22, 1997. Her suicide was never solved but it is believed that as she was used as an alibi in Jim Webb’s murder, she may have realized it and been unable to live with it.
While all of that might sound like the General Wayne Inn has had an unlikely pas, perhaps none of it is as unlikely as this:
Recently it has been purchased by Chabad of the Main Line, and has been converted into a synagogue and Center For Jewish Life.